The first full week of October invites Canadians to share the realities of living with mental health issues through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). MIAW is an annual national public education campaign coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). The campaign aims to engage Canadians in a national conversation about mental illness and provide insight into the services and supports available.
The pandemic has brought on new challenges and highlighted existing struggles that Canadians face. A survey by CMHA Ontario showed that nearly half (48 per cent) of Ontarians say their mental health has worsened over the past two years. Substance use among Ontarians has also increased, and one in four people (24 per cent) have sought help for their mental health challenges since the pandemic began.
Access to services and community support play a big part in the way people experience mental illnesses. As a member of CAMIMH, CMHA supports the vision of a Canada where everyone has timely access to mental health programs, services and supports without barriers. Visit the CAMIMH website for more information on the MIAW campaign.